You can feel it can’t you – that cold-surface metallic sensation in your mouth?

John Keats fell in love and fell fatally ill within a short period of time, parting definitively from Fanny Brawne when it was concluded that the best chance he had of surviving TB was to change climate. He went to Italy with a friend and never came back.  His letters to her survive, hers were buried with him.

The beautiful collection of his letters to her are a record of joy seized wherever and whenever it could be found, for minutes or hours at a time, while dealing head on with horrific illness, first his younger brother’s and then his own.

But he doesn’t shy off recounting his despair and frustration; not only in his relationship and his pounding desire to live, but also the fear that he would not have time to write all he was capable of. The book, So Bright and Delicate, is complemented by a magnificently realistic and heart-rending film of the same title.

‘The last two years taste like brass upon my Palate.’ 

See an equally arresting simile, sweeter in taste.


Source: John Keats, So Bright and Delicate: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne (London: Penguin Classics, 2009), p. 64

Photo credit: Tama66 at pixabay


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